Workflow management refers to identifying, documenting, tracking, and optimizing your team’s tasks or workflow, to complete a specific task and ensure desired results as efficiently as possible. The primary goal of workflow management involves keeping effective communication channels open, assigning individual tasks to the entire team, and creating a solid workflow process to stay on track.
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Why do you need workflow management for remote teams?
Workflow management has different characteristics for remote teams. Because remote team members cannot knock on each other’s door and ask for clarification or additional information, collaboration and synchronization can be quite a hassle. From clashing calendars to an overflowing pile of emails, virtual teams might struggle to adapt to their work environment.
Workflow management saves much trouble for remote teams, and there is a plethora of collaboration tools and virtual assistants available to make team collaboration and remote communication easier, so you can adapt to the remote work model easier!
In other words, improving current workflows for your remote teams helps establish accountability and commitment to the task at hand. In addition, workflow management systems minimize repetitive task delegation and streamline the logistics of each task assigned to each team member. Since workflow management promotes collaboration and transparency, and enhances the company culture.
3 Types of Workflows
1- Sequential Workflows
Sequential workflows involve a series of steps that follow one another to complete the task. Most of the time, rules-driven workflows are listed as a subcategory of sequential workflows as each rule is triggered in a sequential path and progresses the task. To put it in simple words, sequential workflows work on the principle of “if this happens, then do that.”
2- Parallel Workflows
Parallel workflows are a series of steps undertaken simultaneously to move the task to completion. Employee onboarding can be considered an example of a parallel workflow. While HR collects the necessary documentation for a new hire, an onboarding buddy might go over the onboarding material to introduce the mission of the company, and IT managers can assign computer access at the same time.
3- Case Workflows
In case workflows, although you are aware of the result you want to achieve, the tasks you need to perform are not apparent. Rather, they become more evident as you gather data about the project. Resolving a customer’s ticket can be an example of a case workflow. First, you have to listen and take notes to identify the problem and possible solutions. Then, you need to consult other team members to finalize a custom solution.
5 Workflow Management Tips for Remote Teams
Asynchronous communication, tedious tasks, long business processes… Remote team management and recalibrating daily workflows can be exhausting for project managers and team members.
Here’s a list of tips that will simplify your workflow management and help gauge your team’s motivation and productivity.
1- Evaluate Strengths and Weaknesses
First things first. Without understanding your team’s strengths and weaknesses, it will be pretty hard to assign tasks to the right person or expect them to work efficiently. Just as one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure, one employee’s expertise can be another’s struggle. That is why it is important to check in with your team using the right communication tools.
Ensuring that each member is happy with their tasks and encouraging feedback is a great way to move the workflow forward in a positive manner. In addition, it promotes a strong remote work culture despite location or time restraints. It also enriches the collaborative atmosphere and minimizes the errors and risks that may arise.
For instance, hiring remote developers and keeping them in the loop of daily workflows for a new project can be a daunting task for most workflow managers. It takes time to get to know new hires, recognize their qualifications and find the best spot in the team where they can thrive or correct their mistakes to avoid further problems.
Because this process is usually time-consuming, employees might feel isolated and under-appreciated as the project progresses. To avoid assigning wrong responsibilities to the wrong team members and prevent burnout, Turing‘s AI-sourced talent cloud assists you in searching, vetting and hiring developers all around the world.
Because the right teamwork makes the dreamwork.
2- Give Your Employees the Right Onboarding
Adapting to remote work culture is stressful and difficult. Whether already working with a remote team or hiring a new team member, you cannot skip employee onboarding. The user onboarding process you establish can potentially be a deal breaker if it is not adjusted and personalized for your employees.
Therefore, your workflow process must include an onboarding sequence, preferably with an onboarding buddy that can provide real-time support to navigate the first weeks and open communication. In addition to 1:1 video meetings and visual onboarding materials, onboarding software like UserGuiding can easily introduce the necessary tools your team uses and engage the new hire.
With its resource center, NPS surveys, advanced analytics and segmentation, UserGuiding not only makes the onboarding easier for new employees, but also integrates into your project and makes customers and users experience the value of your services quicker with custom designs.
For example, angular onboarding triggers a series of overlay dialogs that assists the user in experiencing the web app. This contextual onboarding method works great with employees and users because it introduces key information without stuffing the process with unnecessary details.
Using angular onboarding for your projects (and customers) can convey the fundamentals with actionable steps and engaging design. This type of onboarding sequence helps automate certain tasks in your workflow, so you can focus on meeting other deadlines and working on other responsibilities without any concerns.
3- Identify Pain Points
Whether using workflow automation software or handling the process manually, you must start with the fundamentals: identifying pain points.
Switching from manual steps to digital automation can be a pain point. Or trying to get approvals and answers from managers on a daily basis can be a nagging pain. Locating where pain points are and taking action to optimize your workflow is the best way to create a healthy work environment.
Moreover, you can use these points to contrast which parts of your current workflow work the best. Tracking repeatable actions performed frequently and efficiently by your employees is a good signal for applying these methods to other areas of your workflow.
4- Automate Tasks to Save Time
Workflows can change with each project. To eliminate the manual processes and keep everything organized, workflow automation tools can come in handy. Instead of updating every detail to guide your team, creating an audit also can save time. You can discuss upcoming deadlines, important meetings, and changes to be applied.
For remote teams, a well-documented audit and workflow automation helps follow the steps determined for the project, keeps every member in the loop, and tracks every update, so that everyone can work as efficiently as possible.
5- Adjust and Repeat
After optimizing your workflow, keep going! Look for steps to improve, update your guides, and collect feedback from fellow employees. Once you’ve become comfortable with your workflow, the remoteness of your team will not matter. As you add more team members, take on new projects, and work collaboratively, adjusting workflows will become a second nature.
Even if you’re working on multiple projects at the same time, managing your workflow will help you keep the ball rolling.
Remote team management can benefit tremendously from well-established workflows. Setting expectations and responsibilities for each team member, hiring new talents for the next project, defining onboarding plans for the customer and employees and keeping communication channels open will flourish your remote work culture.
Investing in a workflow management tool and automating manual tasks guarantee project success and team productivity. Employing the right workflow method will eliminate errors that might undermine your efforts. Focusing on pain points, optimizing your workflow, and applying necessary changes will keep everything organized and easy to manage.
Author Bio: Aysenur is a Creative Content Writer at UserGuiding. She enjoys writing on SaaS, product, and growth for the UserGuiding Blog. Outside of work, you can find her reading a gothic novel or doing crossword puzzles in her room because words are everything to her.